Regulatory announcements

Bloomsbury chosen by GCHQ to publish Authorised History of its first 100 years

19 September 2018

Bloomsbury will publish the authorised history of GCHQ following keen competition from major publishing groups in an offer conducted by Bill Hamilton of A. M. Heath & Co.

Bloomsbury will work closely with the world-leading intelligence, security and cyber agency to have the book ready to mark GCHQ's 100th anniversary in 2019, with the book's publication due for the autumn. This will be a key part of GCHQ's programme of activities and events planned throughout its centenary year.

The history will be written by the leading signals intelligence historian Professor John Ferris. Professor Ferris has spent most of his career writing about secret intelligence and its effects on the development of policy and strategy, including a year as Scholar-in-Residence at the National Security Agency in the USA. Working closely with GCHQ's in-house historian Tony Comer, Ferris has been granted unprecedented access to the agency's classified records, to chart its origins in the First World War, through Bletchley Park and the Cold War to the present day. The archival material consulted by Ferris will subsequently be released to The National Archives.

Professor John Ferris said: 'It is truly exciting to be the first historian to see these documents about GCHQ. They illuminate a hidden but important part of the history of the British state, in particular during the Cold War. This history will bring the actions of the most secret of British agencies into the public domain for the first time.'

GCHQ Historian Tony Comer said: 'GCHQ has kept Britain safe for 100 years, and will keep doing so into the future. Our centenary is a unique moment to commemorate our past, explain more about what we do, and inspire a new generation by celebrating the people who have made GCHQ such a ground-breaking organisation for the last century and continue to do so into the next.'

Bloomsbury's Publishing Director Michael Fishwick, on whose list the book will appear, said: 'I thought the material we were shown was fascinating, because it really was that rare thing, a new way of reading history, like seeing the dark matter in the universe that holds it all together or the third dimension in three-dimensional chess. We will be seeing for the first time the information that helped make the decisions of our leaders in Whitehall and of the commanders on the bridge, in the field, under the sea and in the air over the last hundred years and even earlier; ipso facto there will be revelations on almost every page.'

Literary Agent Bill Hamilton said: 'I am delighted that the Bloomsbury team, who published Keith Jeffery's history of MI6 with such panache and commercial success, has acquired this unique and important history of the least understood of our intelligence agencies. Their enthusiasm and engagement with the book is obvious, and the high quality of their offer won the day.'

The authorised history of GCHQ will be published in the autumn of 2019.


For further information, please contact:

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc +44 (0) 20 7631 5630
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive
Penny Scott-Bayfield, Group Finance Director
FTI Consulting +44 (0) 203 727 1000
Charles Palmer / Dwight Burden / Emma Hall / Leah Dudley [email protected]


Notes to Editors

About Bloomsbury: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc is a medium-sized independent publisher of general and academic books quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

About GCHQ: GCHQ is an intelligence, security and cyber agency with a mission to help keep the UK safe. Its people use cutting-edge technology and technical ingenuity to identify, analyse and disrupt threats in an increasingly digital world. It works closely with MI5, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), law enforcement, the military, and international partners to counter real-world and online threats from nation states, criminal groups, terrorists and individuals. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of GCHQ and was set up in October 2016, leads the cyber security mission to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online.

Images can be found at

GCHQ Press Office can be reached at 01242 221491 x33847 and [email protected]



To return to the Regulatory Announcements section click here


updated every 15 minutes

Investor Alert

  Sign up for Alerts

Financial Calendar

16 Jul 2024

Annual General Meeting

16 Jul 2024

Trading Update

23 May 2024

Preliminary announcement for the year ended 29 February 2024

26 Oct 2023

Interim Results